A short, creepy story inspired by reading Iam McEwan.

The crash was so loud that I heard the echoes a mile away on the peak. It was a brief moment of noise and chaos, as a cloud of birds erupted into the early morning mist, and then the woodland silence below me returned. I thought about what to do; should I go home? Should I go and investigate? On the one hand, I’m retired from the Rangers, though I don’t think of myself that way; on the other hand the crash had probably scared off all the deer for miles around, there’d be no chance of bagging one now.

     People; they disturb the natural balance. Every time they come through this forest they leave bits of their world behind. Paper, food wrappers, empty tins and all sorts of other rubbish cause me no end of problems in my job. I carried on down anyway, despite my feelings about them; there was still the source of the noise to investigate.

It took me around twenty minutes to reach the source of the noise. It turned out to be a car crash. What sort of car, I couldn’t tell you. They all look the same as far as I’m concerned: giant, fuming, metal monstrosities polluting the air and killing animals. That’s all they are to me. This one was red and had gone off the road into a Douglas fir tree. The driver was lying over the hood, his torso through the windscreen. As an experienced tracker, I could tell you what had happened. One glance of the scene told the sad story. One of the suitcases tied to the roof must have come loose. With his view of the road obscured, the driver could not see the bend and drove straight at the tree.

     I have to say, the interior looked nice – had looked nice, I mean. Cream-leather seats, a dashboard that looked super high-tech. Nice design, what a waste and all that. I looked in the back seat and at the roof-rack; I can’t imagine what was in all those bags and suitcases.

     My duty now was to assess the scene, barrier off the incident, record the debris field and notify the appropriate rescue authorities. More work caused by careless people, but I suppose I should show some sympathy for the dead. I bowed my head and said a few words for the departed. Yes, I know there’s nobody to hear, I know it does no good. But I also know it does no harm either. This guy can’t get worse than dead and whether there’s life after death or not, at least I’ve done something. But this wasn’t the time for philosophical debates.

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